Whether you’re interested for fantasy hockey reasons or just want to know which goalie your team is playing in a given day, we thought it might be helpful to share our best guesses (based on various previews from newspapers and Web sites plus our own instincts) on who might start each day.
7:00 pm ET games
Ottawa @ Montreal
Likely Ottawa starter: Pascal Leclaire – It sounds like Brian Elliott might have a minor injury, so Leclaire will at least get tonight’s start and maybe more. (Source.)
Likely Montreal starter: Carey Price – Of course. (Source.)
Colorado @ Florida
Likely Colorado starter: Craig Anderson – Does this mean he’s really back? (Source.)
Likely Florida starter: Tomas Vokoun – Things haven’t been going well for Vokoun and the Panthers lately, but maybe a little home cooking will do them some good. (Source.)
Buffalo @ Boston
Likely Buffalo starter: Ryan Miller – He’s 6-2 in his last eight starts, so perhaps the Sabres can start making a move. Beating the eighth place Bruins would be a great way to push that process forward. (Source.)
Likely Boston starter: Tim Thomas – The reigning save of the week winner starts in net for the Bruins. (Source.)
9:30 pm ET games
Anaheim @ Edmonton
Likely Anaheim starter: Jonas Hiller – You might know the drill by now: the Ducks do little to confirm their starter, but most of the time, it’s Hiller.
Likely Edmonton starter: Nikolai Khabibulin – The Bulin Wall earned a shutout and only allowed a goal for another win in his two starts since returning from injury, so it’s sensible to grant him another appearance. (Source.)
Tampa Bay @ Calgary
Likely Tampa Bay starter: Dan Ellis – It’s a good thing the Lightning can score in bunches, because neither of their goalies is likely to get a Vezina Trophy nomination anytime soon. (Source.)
Likely Calgary starter: Miikka Kiprusoff – As usual. (Source.)
‘John leaves a lasting mark’: NHL announces Collins’ departure as COO
One of the driving forces behind the NHL’s growth over the last decade is moving on.
John Collins, who’s served as the league’s chief operating officer for the last seven years, will be leaving his post to embark on a new business opportunity.
More, from the League:
Collins, who joined the NHL in November 2006, had been COO since August 2008.
“John leaves a lasting mark,” said Commissioner Bettman. “His energy, creativity and skill at building strategic partnerships helped drive significant revenue growth for our League. We are grateful for his many contributions and wish him the best in his new endeavors.”
Said Collins, “I’m grateful to Commissioner Bettman for his leadership and friendship over the past nine years. He had a vision for extending the reach of the NHL and supported us completely as we set out to make the game as big as it deserves to be.
“The NHL’s future is filled with promise and potential and I will admire and cheer the League’s successes to come on the global stage.”
Collins, 53, was regarded as one of main presences behind a number of the NHL’s most successful initiatives, including the Winter Classic and Stadium Series, the HBO 24/7 collaboration, the relaunched World Cup of Hockey, Canadian and American television deals and partnerships with companies like SAP, Adidas, Major League Baseball Advanced Media and GoPro.
During Collins’ tenure, the NHL was twice named “Sports League of the Year” by the SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily — once in 2011, and again in 2014.
Columbus will have some reinforcements up front when it takes on the Devils tomorrow in New Jersey.
Brandon Dubinsky, who’s missed the last six games with an elbow injury, and Alexander Wennberg — who’s also missed the last six games, but with a foot ailment — have both been activated from injured reserve, and should be available for selection on Wednesday.
The Winter Classic Alumni Game is back this year, scheduled for New Year’s Eve at Gillette Stadium between former members of the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins.
Today, the NHL announced the rosters and coaching staffs.
Famous ex-Habs that will take to the outdoor ice include Larry Robinson, Guy Carbonneau, and Mats Naslund. Behind the bench will be Yvan Cournoyer, Jacques Demers and Guy Lafleur, among others.
The home side will counter with Bruins legends Ray Bourque, Cam Neely, and “Nifty” Rick Middleton, while Don Cherry, Mike Milbury, and Derek Sanderson will be among the coaches. (Quite a trio of personalities right there.)